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Thread: Changing coolant - did I do it right?

  1. #1
    Regular Member mohojo's Avatar
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    Default Changing coolant - did I do it right?

    I changed the coolant in my Vectra (3.2 V6) yesterday – but I’m not convinced that I did it right. In my previous car I would change the coolant by removing the lower radiator hose and then flushing the block via the heater hose and heater core.

    I tried a similar approach on the Vectra, except that was unable to remove the heater hose (despite removing the hose clamp) and was reluctant to force it. Instead I flushed the block by putting a garden hose first in the reservoir and then up the bottom radiator hose. All the subsequent water that run out of the block and radiator seemed to be clean.

    However, it seems that about half of the capacity of the cooling system remains in the block despite the remove of the lower radiator hose. Therefore, after the flushing, I simply refitted the bottom radiator hose and added 3.85 litres of undiluted red coolant to the reservoir, with the assumption that this would combine with the clean water in the block to achieve the 50/50 ratio. Anyway I took the car for a 20km spin (with a container of 5 litres of water just in case) and all seemed fine. The next morning I checked the reservoir and it was slightly below the cold mark and adding about a cup of water bought it up to the correct level.

    I am concerned whether I really did manage to flush the block properly using my dilution technique. And what about the old coolant that remained in the heater hoses and core – is this an issue? Even if I had managed to remove the heater hose in order the flush the heater core, how does one ensure that the heater valve is open in a car with climate control?

    I would really appreciate people’s thoughts on this. Cheers!

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    Regular Member luke4487's Avatar
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    Sounds okay to me.. but never done it on a Veccy. Apart from yesterday when I topped it up after a new header tank lol. So I'm interested in any owners who have done this too?

    i just ran her up from cold with the coolant cap off, and switched from hot to cold after a couple minutes. Then topped it up. But I'm not posh enough for climate control :P

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    Regular Member jonnybravo's Avatar
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    Hi Mohojo
    it's the thermostat that keeps the coolant in the block,the system is self bleeding thats why you had to add alittle water after your run.the heater system dosn't hold much capacity so you are ok there.the coolant left in would allready be at 50/50 so you may have a rich mixture now,could cause a rise in running temp in hot weather just keep your eyes on temp guage for a few runs

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    Regular Member mohojo's Avatar
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    Johnnybravo - thanks for your advice. Yes, there is a possibility that my coolant mixture is now too rich. I am hoping that my flushing technique has replaced the contents of my block with clean water. I think that I might buy a coolant tester to find out what ratio I've got. But I will keep a close eye on the temperature gauge.

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    Regular Member jonnybravo's Avatar
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    a tester is a good idea you will be ok if it's just up say 60/40 but no more just keep an eye on it

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    Full Member spennny's Avatar
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    You didnt have to remove the radiator hose though, there is a bleeder screw on the LHS bottom hose , simple twist and pull (doesnt come right out) would have allowed the cooland to flow out

    Sounds as if you did do it ok, and as the OP says, watch it for a few days, i did mine a few weeks ago and was amazed i didnt balls it up

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